News

Invention by a Finnish start-up speeds up coronavirus testing

Xfold Imaging Oy, founded by researchers from Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, has developed a nanocoated glass slide that makes microscopes dozens of times more accurate. It enables the identifying of coronavirus from a sample up to one day earlier compared to current technology.
SARS-COVID19
The nanocoated glass multiplies the accuracy of the microscope by a factor of ten. Pictured is a sample containing coronavirus without coated glass (left) and with XFold nano-coated glass (right). Photo: XFold Imagining Oy

On the surface, the product developed by Xfold looks like regular glass. However, its unique nanocoating makes it a powerful signal booster that can be integrated into existing microscopes. The nanocoating makes the image produced by a microscope up to dozens of times more accurate, which also opens up new possibilities in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

‘At the moment, coronavirus can be detected from a sample 3–5 days after exposure. Our technology reduces this time by up to 24 hours. It can also be used to observe the effect of medicines being studied more quickly, without any new equipment or work processes’, says Timo Jäntti, CEO of Xfold Imaging.

Launched at Aalto Startup Center in 2019, Xfold has tested its technology with biomedical and virology experts at Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, Viikki Biocenter and Biomedicum in Meilahti, as well as with many international research groups in Japan and the United States.

‘We have piloted our technology for investigating viruses with the University of Stanford, for example, and we have seen its potential for diagnosing coronavirus and testing related medicines. Our technology has opened up new avenues for researchers in the world of medicine’, Jäntti says.

Xfold directly employs three people. Funded by Business Finland and Butterfly Ventures, among others, the company is now focusing entirely on potential technological solutions to help combat the coronavirus epidemic. According to Jäntti, the greatest potential lies in poorer countries.

‘Our nanocoating can be added to almost any glass slides and sensors where samples are placed. It is a simple and affordable solution that could raise the diagnostic accuracy of health care laboratories in poorer countries to the level of Western countries’, Jäntti says.

In the future, the nanocoated glass could also speed up the development of many other medicines. Traditionally, cells under examination have to be bleached in order to inspect them with a microscope and take pictures of them. However, the bleaching process shortens the lifetime of the cells, which makes it difficult to investigate the effects of chemical substances, such as medicines. With nanocoated glass, bleaching is not required so that a live cell can be observed much longer.

‘Xfold imaging is an example of how technology can help us overcome this current crisis – and solve future ones. We at Aalto Startup Center want to be at the forefront with our contribution’, says Marika Paakkala, Head of Aalto Startup Center.

Contact:
Timo Jäntti
CEO
Xfold Imagining

[email protected]
tel. +358 (0)40 171 2255

 

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Read more news

Illustration image on a sunny day as the sun is setting, of Otakaari 2A, the lights in the building are lit and there are blurry images of people walking around. Grass and trees are green.
Campus, Press releases, University Published:

The new Marsio building is a showcase for research, teaching and impact at Aalto University

The name was selected through a contest, and it is a tribute to Aino Marsio-Aalto.
FinnFusion is a collaboration aiming to make fusion energy a reality. Photo: VTT.
Cooperation, Press releases, Research & Art Published:

Aalto Scientists Experiment with Helium Plasma to Help Pave Way for Fusion Energy

As part of FinnFusion, itself belonging to the EUROfusion consortium, Aalto scientists are experimenting with helium plasma to improve the future operations of Iter, an international fusion energy collaboration under construction in France.
Vehnänjyviä
Press releases Published:

Changes to animal feed could supply food for one billion people

Livestock and fish could be fed more agricultural by-products, freeing up food for people
A satellite image of Borneo and part of Malaysia covered by plumes of smoke from fires. The many fires are marked on the map as red dots.
Press releases Published:

New AI system predicts how to prevent wildfires

A machine learning model can evaluate the effectiveness of different management strategies